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Treasure 24: Aberdeen Mechanics Institute
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Treasure 24: Aberdeen Mechanics Institute

Historic Documents
Léa Moreau
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Treasure 24: Aberdeen Mechanics Institute
Historic Documents
Treasure 24: Aberdeen Mechanics Institute
2015 marks 170 years since the founding stone of Aberdeen Mechanics' Institute was laid. The history of this well-known building in Aberdeen's landscape has however often been forgotten. We hold a small collection of posters and flyers relating to the Institute and its courses and lectures in our Local Studies collection.

The School of Arts of Edinburgh, established in 1821, was the world's first Mechanics' Institute. Two years later, the Aberdeen Mechanics' Institute was established "for the purpose of affording to Mechanics, and others employed during the day, the means of acquiring such knowledge as may be of practical utility to them in their several professions, or which may be useful for cultivating their minds by extending their acquaintance with the phenomena of nature and the arts of life" (A. Yeats, Secretary. Aberdeen Journal, 14 February 1844).

The Mechanics' Institute soon became a very important educational force in the city. It also provided educational advantages for those who otherwise would never have had the opportunity or the means of acquiring them.

Initially a place of entertainment, the Mechanics' Institute subsequently became a public library on the adoption of the Public Libraries Act (1884). The Library was the most valuable asset of the institution and was viewed as a necessity, providing significant educational opportunities to its members.

For a period of nearly 60 years, the Mechanics Institute played a major role in influencing the culture and education of the people of Aberdeen.

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Mechanics Institute
Aberdeen Local Studies
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Treasure 36: Aberdeen City Libraries' First Book Sale, 24 February 1979
Aberdeen Mechanics' Institute
Rules and Regulations of the Mutual Instruction Class of the Aberdeen Mechanics' Institution
Aberdeen Mechanics' Institute - Annual Public meeting